Kentucky coach Tubby Smith doesn't believe his team's talent is inadequate even though UK lost 13 games last season and already has 11 losses this season.
"Not an issue for me," Smith answered Monday when asked about his team's perceived lack of talent. "We have a good mix of veteran players. We have played about three freshmen quite a bit. We have the talent to get the job done.
"There have been games we were very close against talented teams. We played the toughest schedule (In the country). You can't make many mistakes. But we have the talent to compete and that's what I expect us to do."
Wright worried about stopping Morris
Wright worries about how his team will stop Kentucky center Randolph Morris. The Villanova coach noted that Morris shot 70 percent from the foul line in Southeastern Conference play and averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game. Overall, Morris averages 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and has 11 double-doubles, including two in the Southeastern Conference Tournament last week.
Wright says it is Morris' combination of skills, strength and athleticism that worry him. He says his team has faced big, strong centers this year that did not have Morris' athleticism or athletic centers that were not Morris' size.
"There is nobody one on one we have to match him with," Wright said. "His girth and strength will be difficult for us to deal with."
Wright admitted his first thought Sunday when he saw his team was paired with Kentucky was how to stop Morris.
"Morris is a guy with pro potential. We have played against some good big guys. You have to do it as a team," Wright said. "We don't have that one guy to go down and play him one on one. We just don't have it. They have some other big guys as well. Even their wing players have great size."
Since Villanova is not as perimeter oriented as it was last year, Wright says his team does have more depth to use to try and contain Morris.
"One thing I worry about with them is their toughness inside. We have gotten better at that this year. Last year we were really guard oriented," Wright said. "We are better, but we can not match Randolph Morris inside or the size of Kentucky or their ability to get on the offensive glass and get the ball inside. In the SEC, they shot almost 50 percent from the field. That was a product of getting the ball inside."
Villanova has won four of last five
Smith said he's been impressed by what he's seen of Villanova, which has won four of its last five games.
"I know we have to take care of the ball," Smith said. "They like to press and trap. They try to push the ball up the court. They are a very fundamentally sound team. They have been on a real tear beating some solid teams."
Wright says Kentucky's defensive pressure reminds him of what his team faced against Georgetown in Big East play.
"They are just so long in every spot and fundamentally sound," Wright said. "Tubby is one of best coaches in the country, that is a proven fact. One of his proven strengths is his ability to teach defense. We have to grind. There will be no easy baskets. We will have to shoot over big people."